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Hammond hopeful Brownback sees higher ed issues


By staff and wire reports

By staff and wire reports

TOPEKA -- Gov. Sam Brownback will visit leaders and students at public universities and colleges throughout Kansas to discuss his support for higher education funding.

The Republican governor said in a release protecting higher education funding must be a priority as the state makes spending decisions for the next two budget years.

Brownback's tentative schedule begins with stops Monday at Wichita State University and Butler Community College and concludes May 6 at Kansas State University.

Kansas legislators still are working on the state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. They return May 8 from a break that began April 5.

Brownback said all state agencies must find efficiencies but believes higher education spending must remain level.

Fort Hays State University isn't on the tour this year -- nor are any schools in the western half of the state -- but that isn't a concern for FHSU President Edward H. Hammond.

He's happy Brownback is touring some campuses and getting his message out.

"His schedule is tight," Hammond said of Brownback.

According to the AP, the House budget writers have proposed a 4-percent cut, and the Senate is proposing a 2-percent cut.

The House version would mean a $2 million cut for FHSU, and the Senate version would be a $700,000 reduction, Hammond said.